Friday, December 4, 2020

[Herpetology • 2020] Uma thurmanae • A New Cryptic Species of Fringe-toed Lizards (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae) from southwestern Arizona with A Revised Taxonomy of the Uma notata Species Complex


Uma thurmanae
Derycke, Gottscho, Mulcahy & de Queiroz, 2020

Mohawk Dunes Fringe-toed Lizard  ||  DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4778.1.3 

Abstract
Fringe-toed lizards (Uma) are among the most specialized lizards in North America, adapted to insular windblown sand habitats in the hyper-arid southwestern deserts, with allopatric distributions, subtle morphological variation, and an unstable taxonomic history. We analyzed a morphological dataset of 40 characters for 65 specimens and a molecular dataset of 2,286 bases from three mitochondrial loci for 92 individuals and interpreted these data alongside published analyses of multi-locus genetic data with the goal of revising the taxonomy of the Uma notata (Baird 1858) species complex. We confirmed that fringe-toed lizards from the Mohawk Dunes in southwestern Arizona (U. sp.) constitute a cryptic species sister to the rest of the complex that can be diagnosed with DNA barcoding and geography, so we describe and name this species Uma thurmanae sp. nov. We also confirmed the evolutionary distinctiveness of U. inornata (Cope 1895), an endangered species endemic to Coachella Valley in southern California. We designate a lectotype for the taxon U. “rufopunctata”, but we put its name in quotation marks to reflect its uncertain taxonomic status with respect to its neighboring species U. cowlesi and U. notata.

Keywords: Reptilia, Dunes, Mitochondrial DNA, Morphology, Phylogeny, Sonoran Desert, Systematics

Uma thurmanae
 An individual in its natural habitat, the Mohawk Dunes.
 Photograph by A. Gottscho.

Uma thurmanae sp. nov. 
Mohawk Dunes Fringe-toed Lizards

Etymology. The specific name thurmanae honors Uma Karuna Thurman (born April 29, 1970), an American actress and pop icon, for her philanthropic contributions and outreach promoting wildlife conservation and human rights


 Elizabeth G. Derycke, Andrew D. Gottscho, Daniel G. Mulcahy and Kevin de Queiroz. 2020. A New Cryptic Species of Fringe-toed Lizards from southwestern Arizona with A Revised Taxonomy of the Uma notata Species Complex (Squamata: Phrynosomatidae). Zootaxa. 4778(1); 67–100. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4778.1.3
twitter.com/prmelosampaio/status/1325327120898412545


Thursday, December 3, 2020

[Botany • 2020] Six New Species of Argostemma Wall. (Rubiaceae) from Laos


 Argostemma vientianense Lanors. & Chantar.,
Argostemma longisepalum Lanors. & Chantar.,  
Argostemma svengsuksae Lanors., Chantar. & Souvann. & 
Argostemma lamxayanum Lanors. & Chantar.

in Lanorsavanh, Chantaranothai & Souvannakhoummane, 2020.
ສະກຸນດາວຫີນ  DOI: 10.1111/njb.02714 
  KKU.ac.th 

Abstract
Argostemma Wall. is a large genus of herbaceous plants in the tribe Argostemmateae (Rubiaceae–Rubioideae), mainly distributed in Southeast Asia and its taxonomy is far from completely known. Eight species of Argostemma were previously reported from Laos, but we here add six more species (Argostemma lamxayanum, A. lobbioides, A. longisepalum, A. paksongense, A. svengsuksae and A. vientianense) which are all new to science. The new species were found in limestone habitats in southern and central Laos. Detailed descriptions, illustrations, photographs and a key to all the known species in Laos are provided.


Argostemma lamxayanum sp. nov.
(A) habitat and habit, (B) habit, (C) inflorescence 
Photos by S. Lanorsavanh.

Argostemma lamxayanum Lanors. & Chantar., sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet is to honor Associate Prof. Vichith Lamxay, Dept of Biology, Faculty of Natural Science, National Univ. of Laos, who encouraged the first author to intensively study the Lao Flora.



Argostemma lobbioides Lanors., Chantar. & Souvann., sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet lobbioides refers to its morphological similarity to A. lobbii.



Argostemma longisepalum Lanors. & Chantar., sp. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet refers to the long sepal.



Argostemma paksongense Lanors. & Chantar., sp. nov. 

Etymology: The specific epithet refers to the Paksong district where the species grows.




Argostemma svengsuksae Lanors., Chantar. & Souvann., sp. nov.


Etymology: The taxon is named after emeritus Associate Prof. Bouakhaykhone Svengsuksa, Dept of Biology, Faculty of Natural Science, National Univ. of Laos, who directed the first author to study the flowering plants for the Lao Flora.



Argostemma vientianense Lanors. & Chantar., sp. nov.


Etymology: The specific epithet refers to the Vientiane province, the collection locality.

 
Soulivanh Lanorsavanh, Pranom Chantaranothai and Keooudone Souvannakhoummane. 2020. Six New Species of Argostemma Wall. (Rubiaceae) from Laos. Nordic Journal of Botany. 38(10); DOI: 10.1111/njb.02714


           

🇱🇦
 ພົບ 6 ພືດຊະນິດໃໝ່ໃນປະເທດລາວ ຕະກຸນດອກເຂັມ ສະກຸນດາວຫີນ Argostemma Wall. (Rubiaceae) 
✨ ຕີພິມລ່າສຸດໃນ Nordic Journal of Botany ວັນທີ 13/10/2020 
ຊົມເຊີຍ Soulivanh Lanorsavanh ນັກຄົ້ນຄວ້າຄະນະວິທະຍາສາດທຳມະຊາດ ມະຫາວິທະຍາໄລແຫ່ງຊາດລາວ,  Keooudonia Souvanakhoummanianum ຜູ້ຈັດການຂໍ້ມູນພາເຂົ້າລາວ/ນັກຄົ້ນຄວ້າກ່ຽວກັບພືດສາດ ,​ ແລະ  Pranom Chantaranothai ນັກຄົ້ນຄວ້າ ຄະນະວິທະຍາສາດທຳມະຊາດ ມະຫາວິທະຍາໄລຂອນແກ່ນ ປະເທດໄທ

พบพืชชนิดใหม่ของโลก อีก 6 ชนิด! โดยนักวิจัยคณะวิทย์ฯ มข. ร่วมกับอาจารย์ ม.แห่งชาติลาว และสถาบันวิจัยการเกษตรและป่าไม้แห่งชาติลาว

      



[Paleontology • 2020] Description and Etiology of Paleopathological Lesions in the Type Specimen of Parasaurolophus walkeri (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae), with proposed Reconstructions of the Nuchal Ligament


Parasaurolophus walkeri Parks, 1922

Paleoart reconstruction of a plausible scenario explaining the fossilized injuries in the thorax of ROM 768. In a violent rain and windstorm, a large tree (Platanaceae) falls on an adult Parasaurolophus walkeri, while the group is escaping. The tree falls vertically on the back of the animal, hitting the rib cage and the neural spines of the anterior dorsal vertebrae.

in Bertozzo, Manucci, Dempsey, et al., 2020. 

Artwork by Marzio Mereggia. 

Abstract
Paleopathology, or the study of ancient injuries and diseases, can enable the ecology and life history of extinct taxa to be deciphered. Large‐bodied ornithopods are the dinosaurs with the highest frequencies of paleopathology reported to‐date. Among these, the crested hadrosaurid Parasaurolophus walkeri is one of the most famous, largely due to its dramatic elongated and tubular nasal crest. The holotype of Parasaurolophus walkeri at the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada, displays several paleopathologies that have not been discussed in detail previously: a dental lesion in the left maxilla, perhaps related to periodontal disease; callus formation associated with fractures in three dorsal ribs; a discoidal overgrowth above dorsal neural spines six and seven; a cranially oriented spine in dorsal seven, that merges distally with spine six; a V‐shaped gap between dorsal spines seven and eight; and a ventral projection of the pubic process of the ilium which covers, and is fused with, the lateral side of the iliac process of the pubis. These lesions suggest that the animal suffered from one or more traumatic events, with the main one causing a suite of injuries to the anterior aspect of the thorax. The presence of several lesions in a single individual is a rare observation and, in comparison with a substantial database of hadrosaur paleopathological lesions, has the potential to reveal new information about the biology and behavior of these ornithopods. The precise etiology of the iliac abnormality is still unclear, although it is thought to have been an indirect consequence of the anterior trauma. The discoidal overgrowth above the two neural spines also seems to be secondary to the severe trauma inflicted on the ribs and dorsal spines, and probably represents post‐traumatic ossification of the base of the nuchal ligament. The existence of this structure has previously been considered in hadrosaurs and dinosaurs more generally through comparison of origin and insertion sites in modern diapsids (Rhea americana, Alligator mississippiensis, Iguana iguana), but its presence, structure, and origin‐attachment sites are still debated. The V‐shaped gap is hypothesized as representing the point between the stresses of the nuchal ligament, pulling the anterior neural spines forward, and the ossified tendons pulling the posterior neural spines backward. Different reconstructions of the morphology of the structure based on the pathological conditions affecting the neural spines of ROM 768 are proposed. Finally, we review the history of reconstructions for Parasaurolophus walkeri showing how erroneous misconceptions have been perpetuated over time or have led to the development of new hypotheses, including the wide neck model supported in the current research.

Keywords: Alberta, Cretaceous, nuchal ligament, Ornithopoda, trauma

(a) The type specimen of Parasaurolophus walkeri (ROM 768) exhibited at the ROM in the opisthotonic “death pose” position as it was found in 1920; (b) simplified skeletal drawing of ROM 768, in which the red circles indicate the positions of the paleopathological lesions: (a) dental disease, (b) V‐shaped gap of neural spines (“saddle”) and discoidal overgrowth, (c) fractures of the ribs, and (d) irregular overgrowth of the pubic peduncle of the ilium


Paleoart reconstruction of a plausible scenario explaining the fossilized injuries in the thorax of ROM 768. In a violent rain and windstorm, a large tree (Platanaceae) falls on an adult Parasaurolophus walkeri, while the group is escaping. The tree falls vertically on the back of the animal, hitting the rib cage and the neural spines of the anterior dorsal vertebrae. Artwork by Marzio Mereggia.


Musculoskeletal representation of the nuchal ligament in Parasaurolophus walkeri, based on the paleopathological lesions evident in ROM 768, with both long (first row) and short (second row) extension of the lamellar parts. (a,b) the nuchal ligament originates on dorsal six, and attaches to the axis; (c,d) it attaches to the axis while originating on dorsal seven; (e,f) the nuchal ligament originates on dorsal six, and attaches to the occipital region, while in (g,h), it originates from dorsal seven attaching to the occipital region; (i), skeletal reconstruction of P. walkeri by Marco Auditore, with the neck depth based on 7e


“Evolution” of the restorations of Parasaurolophus through history, starting from top left. The drawings of each “morphology” represent the general overview of the taxon as understood at that time, together with the external features usually depicted.
(a) Knight‐influenced: tripodal stance, lizard like anatomy with a large neck frill; (b) crest used as muscular attachment; (c) the aquatic Parasaurolophus: the crest is reconstructed as functionally related to aquatic behavior (e.g. air store, water trap or snorkel) for feeding on soft sub‐aqueous vegetation; (d) Pre‐Dinosaur Renaissance influence: tripodal stance, bulkier anatomy, usually terrestrial, but aquatic depictions still prosper; (e) Post‐Dinosaur Renaissance influence: skeletal proportions and overall posture more consistently correct, overly pronated forelimbs, slender anatomy, neck frill and “saddle” variably present; (f) Contemporary reconstructions: bulkier anatomy, thicker neck increasingly common, correctly configured forelimbs and pectoral girdles increasingly common, neck frill and “saddle” generally absent, larger rhamphotheca, speculative soft tissue increasingly common. The years within brackets refer to the year of the published image by the illustrator



Filippo Bertozzo, Fabio Manucci, Matthew Dempsey, Darren H. Tanke, David C. Evans, Alastair Ruffell and Eileen Murphy. 2020. Description and Etiology of Paleopathological Lesions in the Type Specimen of Parasaurolophus walkeri (Dinosauria: Hadrosauridae), with proposed Reconstructions of the Nuchal Ligament. Journal of Anatomy.  DOI: 10.1111/joa.13363


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

[Paleontology • 2020] Erythrovenator jacuiensis • A New Theropod Dinosaur from A Peculiar Late Triassic Assemblage of southern Brazil


Erythrovenator jacuiensis 
Müller, 2020

Illustration: Márcio L. Castro.

Highlights: 
• A new theropod dinosaur from the Late Triassic of Brazil is described.
• It is one of the oldest known theropods worldwide.
• This sheds light on some of the earliest theropod features.
• The new theropod comes from a peculiar fauna dominated by traversodontid cynodonts.
• The new theropod represents the first carnivorous dinosaur from this assemblage.

Abstract
The early evolution of theropod dinosaurs is poorly understood. Whereas sauropodomorphs are well-known from the oldest dinosaur bearing outcrops, the record of theropods is fragmentary and ambiguous. The Triassic deposits from Brazil yielded some of the oldest dinosaurs worldwide. These dinosaurs came from two distinct Assemblage Zones (AZ): the Hyperodapedon AZ (Carnian) and the Riograndia AZ (early Norian). Here, a specimen previously assigned to cf. Dinosauromorpha is reassessed. CAPPA/UFSM 0157 comes from an enigmatic assemblage with predominance of the traversodotind cynodont Siriusgnathus. This assemblage has been tentatively assigned to the Riograndia AZ. However, the absence of index fossils still hampers a reliable assignation. The specimen, which comprises a proximal portion of a left femur, belongs to a new theropod taxon erected here as Erythrovenator jacuiensis gen. et sp. nov. The new dinosaur differs from all other known Triassic dinosaurs based on the absence of a raised dorsolateral trochanter of the femur. Erythrovenator jacuiensis gen. et sp. nov. is regarded as a theropod on the basis of the pyramidal shape of the anterior trochanter in anterior view. The results of a phylogenetic analysis corroborate this assignation. Therefore, the new dinosaur represents one of the oldest theropod dinosaurs worldwide, shedding lights on some of the earliest theropod features. Finally, the new specimen also represents the first carnivorous dinosaur from the assemblage dominated by the traversodontid cynodont Siriusgnathus, increasing our knowledge of the faunal content of this enigmatic assemblage.

Keywords: Archosauria, Candelária sequence, Carnian, Dinosauromorpha, Norian, Theropoda, Saurischia, South America





 Photographs, 3D scans, and line drawings of Erythrovenator jacuiensis gen. et sp. nov. (CAPPA/UFSM 0157), from the Niemeyer Site, Agudo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; Carnian–early Norian, Late Triassic.
 Proximal portion of the left femur in (A) anterior, (B) lateral, (C) proximal, (D) medial, and (E) posterior views.
Abbreviations: alt, anterolateral tuber; amt, anteromedial tuber; ar, anterior ridge; as, anterior scar; at, anterior trochanter; ce, concave emargination; faa, facies articularis antitrochanterica; gt, greater trochanter; pmt, posteromedial tuber; ps, posterior scar; s, scar; slcf, sulcus for ligamentum capitis femoris.

 Systematic Paleontology 
Dinosauriformes Novas, 1992 
Dinosauria Owen, 1842 
Theropoda Marsh, 1881 

Erythrovenator gen. nov. 

 Etymology. Erythro’ comes from the Greek erythrós, meaning “red” or “reddish”, referring to the red color of the holotype fossil; ‘venator’ is the Latin word for hunter

Erythrovenator jacuiensis sp. nov. 

 Etymology. The species name ‘jacuiensis’ is in reference to ‘Rio Jacuí’, a river that runs in Agudo. 








 Rodrigo T. Müller. 2020. A New Theropod Dinosaur from A Peculiar Late Triassic Assemblage of southern Brazil. Journal of South American Earth Sciences. In Press. DOI: 10.1016/j.jsames.2020.103026


    

    

 

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

[Ichthyology • 2020] Riddle on the Riffle: Miocene Diversification and Biogeography of Endemic Mountain Loaches (Cypriniformes: Balitoridae: Bhavania) in the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot


Bhavania australis  (Jerdon, 1849)
The mountain loach, Bhavania australis is a ‘cryptic species complex’ endemic to the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot in India.

in Sidharthan, Raghavan, Anoop, et al., 2020. 
 Photo: Beta Mahatvaraj  twitter.com/LabRajeev 
 
Abstract
Aim: The Western Ghats Hotspot in peninsular India harbours remarkable diversity and endemism of freshwater fish. However, the ichthyofauna's evolutionary histories and biogeography are poorly known. Here, we investigate (a) the diversity, evolutionary history and biogeography of endemic mountain loaches and (b) the potential influence of the physiography of hill ranges, geological barriers and river systems on the diversification and cladogenesis of loaches, in the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot.

Location: Southern Western Ghats mountain ranges (8–13°N latitudes), Western Ghats‐Sri Lanka Biodiversity Hotspot.

Taxa: Mountain loaches Bhavania annandalei and B. australis (Cypriniformes: Balitoridae).

Methods: We carried out a multigene phylogenetic analysis with mitochondrial and nuclear markers using Bhavania specimens collected throughout the genus' range. The Automated Barcode Gap Analysis, Poisson Tree Process and Generalized Mixed Yule‐Coalescent Model were used to delimit species. A Bayesian chronogram was constructed to estimate the time elapsed since the most recent common ancestor of the distinct lineages of Bhavania. Ancestral ranges of distinct lineages of Bhavania were reconstructed using the dispersal–extinction–cladogenesis model.

Results: 
Phylogenetic analysis of combined mitochondrial and nuclear data, as well species delimitation using the Poisson Tree Process and Generalized Mixed Yule‐Coalescent Model analyses supported eight distinct lineages, which included the narrowly distributed B. annandalei and widely distributed B. australis. The Barcode Gap Analysis, however, supported only seven lineages. Bayesian divergence time dating suggests that the genus originated early in the Neogene and diversified in the Miocene. Ancestral state reconstruction indicated Bhavania diversifed as a result of sympatric, subset and vicariant speciation with five dispersal and one vicariant events across biogeographic barriers and river systems.

Main conclusions: 
Bhavania australis is a ‘species complex’. Miocene‐associated climatic changes including intensification of the south‐west monsoon likely triggered dispersal and range expansion; subsequent aridification would have led to drying up of riverine connections, formation of land barriers and fragmentation of streams, resulting in cladogenesis. Our results also provide preliminary evidence that Cauvery, one of the largest east flowing rivers of Western Ghats, facilitates an east‐west pathway for dispersal and diversification of endemic lineages of the region.

Keywords: Bhavania, biogeographical barriers, cryptic species, dispersal vicariance



in Sidharthan, Raghavan, Anoop, et al., 2020. 



CONCLUDING REMARKS
Our multi‐locus phylogeny and divergence time dating suggest that the endemic WG mountain loach genus Bhavania originated in the early Neogene, and diversified/radiated into cryptic lineages in the Miocene. Facilitated by Miocene‐associated climatic changes including intensification of the monsoonal rains, Bhavania dispersed across the WG, expanding their range. Cladogenesis events were subsequently triggered by aridification and drying up of riverine connections, formation of land barriers and fragmentation of streams. Our results also provide the first evidence for Cauvery, one of the largest east flowing rivers of Western Ghats, facilitating an east–west pathway for dispersal and diversification of endemic lineages of the region. As a next step, a comprehensive family‐wide phylogeny of balitorid loaches including the endemic lineages of the WG, would certainly help improving our understanding of their current‐day diversity and distribution patterns, as well as the larger‐scale evolutionary and biogeographical history of hillstream freshwater fishes in the Indian Subcontinent, Indo‐China and the Sunda Islands.


 Arya Sidharthan, Rajeev Raghavan, Vasudevan Komalavally Anoop, Siby Philip and Neelesh Dahanukar. 2020. Riddle on the Riffle: Miocene Diversification and Biogeography of Endemic Mountain Loaches in the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot. Journal of Biogeography. 47(12); 2741-2754. DOI: 10.1111/jbi.13972  

         

        

[PaleoEntomology • 2020] The Damselfly Palaeofauna (Insecta, Odonata, Zygoptera) from the Eocene of Wyoming and Colorado, USA


Zacallites cockerelli
Bechly, Garrouste, Aase, et al., 2020


Abstract
A new family, five new genera, and nine new species of fossil damselflies (Insecta, Odonata, Zygoptera, Calopterygida) from the USA are described, seven from the Eocene Fossil Lake deposits and one from Lake Uinta deposits, both from the Green River Formation, and an additional specimen from the Wind River Formation of Wyoming and Colorado. Namely, Carlea eocenica gen. et sp. nov. (in Carleidae fam. nov.), Labandeiraia riveri sp. nov., Labandeiraia browni sp. nov., Eodysphaea magnifica gen. et sp. nov., Litheuphaea sp. cf. coloradensis Petrulevičius et al., 2007, Zacallites cockerelli sp. nov., Dysagrion integrum sp. nov., Tenebragrion shermani gen. et sp. nov., Tynskysagrion brookeae gen. et sp. nov., and Oreodysagrion tenebris gen. et sp. nov. Epallagoidea and Amphipterygoidea are most common while Calopterygoidea, Coenagrionoidae and Lestoidea damselflies are less diverse. Genera of zygopteran Dysagrionidae are known from Europe and North America, further supporting the hypothesis of Palaeogene terrestrial interchange. Representatives of Epallagoidea and Amphipterygoidea in the Green River Formation confirm that warm conditions occurred at the time of deposition.

Keywords: Zygoptera, Calopterygoidea, Epallagoidea, Amphipterygoidea, damselfly, Green River Formation


Family ZACALLITIDAE Cockerell, 1928

Genus ZACALLITES Cockerell, 1928
Type species: Zacallites balli Cockerell, 1928.

Other species: Zacallites cockerelli sp. nov.


Günter Bechly, Romain Garrouste, Arvid Aase, Jered A. Karr, Lance Grande and André Nel. 2020. The Damselfly Palaeofauna from the Eocene of Wyoming and Colorado, USA (Insecta, Odonata, Zygoptera). Papers in Palaeontology. DOI: 10.1002/spp2.1346  

[Herpetology • 2020] Evolution of Habitat Preference in 243 Species of Bent‐toed Geckos (Genus Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827) with A Discussion of Karst Habitat Conservation


Representative species of the ecotypes associated with the habitat preferences delineated in this study. 
(b) Cyrtodactylus solomonensis, (c) C. linnwayensis
(d) C. nigriocularis, (e) C. srilekhae, (f) C. elok
(g) C. tiomanensis, (h) C. pantiensis, and (i) C. seribuatensis

in Grismer, Wood, Le, et al., 2020.

Photos: a., c., f., g., h., i., L. Lee Grismer; b. Scott Travers; d. Nickolay A. Poyarkov; and e. Ishan Agarwal 

Abstract
Understanding the processes that underpin adaptive evolutionary shifts within major taxonomic groups has long been a research directive among many evolutionary biologists. Such phenomena are best studied in large monophyletic groups that occupy a broad range of habitats where repeated exposure to novel ecological opportunities has happened independently over time in different lineages. The gekkonid genus Cyrtodactylus is just such a lineage with approximately 300 species that range from South Asia to Melanesia and occupy a vast array of habitats. Ancestral state reconstructions using a stochastic character mapping analysis of nine different habitat preferences were employed across a phylogeny composed of 76% of the known species of Cyrtodactylus. This was done in order to ascertain which habitat preference is the ancestral condition and from that condition, the transition frequency to more derived habitat preferences. The results indicate that a general habitat preference is the ancestral condition for Cyrtodactylus and the frequency of transitioning from a general habitat preference to anything more specialized occurs approximately four times more often than the reverse. Species showing extreme morphological and/or ecological specializations generally do not give rise to species bearing other habitat preferences. The evolution of different habitat preferences is generally restricted to clades that tend to occur in specific geographic regions. The largest radiations in the genus occur in rocky habitats (granite and karst), indicating that the transition from a general habitat preference to a granite or karst‐dwelling life style may be ecologically uncomplicated. Two large, unrelated clades of karst‐associated species are centered in northern Indochina and the largest clade of granite‐associated species occurs on the Thai‐Malay Peninsula. Smaller, independent radiations of clades bearing other habitat preferences occur throughout the tree and across the broad distribution of the genus. With the exception of a general habitat preference, the data show that karst‐associated species far out‐number all others (29.6% vs. 0.4%–10.2%, respectively) and the common reference to karstic regions as “imperiled arcs of biodiversity” is not only misleading but potentially dangerous. Karstic regions are not simply refugia harboring the remnants of local biodiversity but are foci of speciation that continue to generate the most speciose, independent, radiations across the genus. Unfortunately, karstic landscapes are some of the most imperiled and least protected habitats on the planet and these data continue to underscore the urgent need for their conservation.

Keywords: ancestral state reconstruction, Asia, ecology, Gekkonidae, limestone, phylogeny, stochastic character mapping



Representative species of the ecotypes associated with the habitat preferences delineated in this study.
(a) Cyrtodactylus mombergi, (b) C. solomonensis, (c) C. linnwayensis,
(d) C. nigriocularis, (e) C. srilekhae, (f) C. elok,
(g) C. tiomanensis, (h) C. pantiensis, and (i) C. seribuatensis.
Photos: a., c., f., g., h., i., L. Lee Grismer; b. Scott Travers; d. Nickolay A. Poyarkov; and e. Ishan Agarwal




 
L. Lee Grismer, Perry L. Wood Jr., Minh Duc Le, Evan S. H. Quah and Jesse L. Grismer. 2020. Evolution of Habitat Preference in 243 Species of Bent‐toed Geckos (Genus Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827) with A Discussion of Karst Habitat Conservation. Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.6961